"In peace let us pray to the Lord"
"Lord have mercy."
"Attending" at Church can be quite challenging not only because I have a plethora or children to manage (thanks 3 Amigos Movie for teaching me that big word:)) but that I have some children with...bonus features. My youngest child was drug exposed in utero and has ADHD, auditory processing issues (he hears everything...even when he's sitting in the way back of the van and I open a mint container!) and sensory DEregulation disorder (his body feels more comfortable when it's crazy and moving around and out of control, but his feelings don't).
During our time as parents, foster parents and adoptive parents I have secretly believed that our love would be enough no matter what "bonuses" our children came with, but I'm learning that sometimes love can't fix those little extras. Sometimes the love that needs to be shown is taking these kids to appointments and finding out what services and even medications might be necessary to help them feel comfortable in their own skin. This young one just began a mild medication that we all felt necessary to add to his supplement regime.
For the first time in a long time all three boys played with each other for a long time. It was quiet and that quiet didn't mean something bad was happening. They were actually enjoying each others company! Then Sunday was Church, the real test. My young one had a bit of trouble sitting. The medication makes him a little drowsy and when he's tired he gets grumpy. When it was time to stand he chose to do his imitation of a boneless chicken, but I persevered and helped him stand. During the Great Entrance he stood respectfully. I almost didn't breathe I didn't want to spoil the moment. And when it was time to take the Eucharist...No pushing and shoving! No reenacting the battle sequence from Narnia! No wiggling or yelling "DON'T!" when I try to direct his body! He stood peacefully in line, walked up the the chalice and partook CALMLY of the Body and Blood of our Lord. As I followed behind him I had to choke back the tears. No one knew that I was feeling like I was at the Olympics watching my son win a gold medal. No one knew what an accomplishment that short walk was. No one, but my Lord, knew my Mama heart and how proud I was of my son. This little one has the potential for a lifetime of intense trials and hard work because of the drugs that were put into his system as a precious unborn baby. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." He wants my little hyperactive boy who can't filter out any stimuli to come unto Him. He wants my son with Reactive Attachment Disorder to come unto Him. He wants my children who feel insecure or stupid or afraid to come unto Him because He made His kingdom of heaven for them. To grant them peace. To give them rest. To make them secure in Him.
May we help each of our little ones on that narrow road we must all walk, crawling with them when necessary...that crawling will encourage much prayer since we'll already be on our knees :)